Milton Keynes City Council receives praise from Oftsed for improvements to support for children in care

    Milton Keynes City Council has been praised for improving local support for children in care.

    The Government watchdog Ofsted has praised Milton Keynes City Council for improving local support for children in care in a letter published today (13/1).

    The letter highlighted its ‘strong family support ethos’ and 'clear focus on keeping children safely at home wherever possible'.

    Social workers have also been commended for understanding the individual needs of children.

    The Ofsted visit took place in November 2022, focusing on children in care within the city. Social workers, senior managers and council leaders spoke with inspectors during the two-day inspection.

    In 2022, an improvement plan was introduced by Milton Keynes City Council for its services in supporting children in care.

    The plan included new procedures and systems alongside key management appointments.

    The changes were recognised in Ofsted's report stating that they are having a 'positive impact' on children in care'. Suggestions have also been made by the regulator to provide 'more consistency' for children.

    Milton Keynes City Council has said it is currently struggling to recruit social workers despite offering 'competitive pay and benefits'

    The City Council was also asked by Oftsed to encourage more children who go missing in care to take up an interview when they return home, the City Council has said it is now recruiting a dedicated team who will be responsible for supporting children at risk of exploitation outside of the home.

    Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: “We’re pleased that Ofsted has recognised the significant progress made by our Children’s Services in the past year. I’m grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen. We have an amazing team looking after our children in care and we’re committed to giving them the support they need to succeed. We’ve also built on those things that young people, families and carers have told us would really make a difference to them.

    There’s always more we can do, and in fact in just a few weeks we’ll be introducing a new team, in partnership with the police, whose role is to help children in care stay safer when they’re getting older and exploring their independence outside of home, whether that’s online, out with friends or in the wider community.”

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